It’s been a while since we’ve posted a braces friendly recipe, so today we thought we’d share not one, but THREE recipes for you to try.
We know that getting kids to eat their vegegies isn’t always the easiest thing to do; and we know that children who wear braces should avoid hard, crunchy things like fresh vegetables—unless they’re cut up into bite-sized pieces. But if the braces are new (or newly adjusted) and mouths are tender, softer foods (in this case, cooked vegetables v. raw) are still going to be the better option.
With all of this mind, our line-up today includes two savory, veggie-centric recipes that are not only braces friendly, but also tasty enough to win the approval of those family members who otherwise wouldn’t touch a vegetable with a ten-foot fork.
We’re also sharing an amazing zucchini brownie recipe that can serve double-duty as a nice treat for your family—and a sneaky way to get some veggies into your kids.
Hey, whatever works, right?!!
The first recipe we have for you today is an alphabet soup. This soup is full of veggie-goodness, but the kids might be having too much fun making out words with the letter-shaped pasta to even notice! And, the fact that it’s homemade ensures that it’s not only healthier than the canned stuff, but better tasting, too.
1 pound ground round
3 cubes beef bouillon
3 cups hot water
1 (46 fluid ounce) bottle spicy vegetable juice cocktail
1 pound frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
8 ounces uncooked alphabet pasta
3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
1. Place the meat in a large stock pot, and cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown.
2. Drain the meat, except for about 2 tablespoons of the juices.
3. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in 3 cups of hot water, and add to the stock pot with the meat.
4. Stir in spicy vegetable juice cocktail, mixed vegetables, alphabet pasta, and 3 cups of water.
5. Simmer 20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.
* If you can’t find alphabet pasta locally, you can order some here or use a different pasta in its place.
* For an even heartier soup, add one can of kidney beans and/or one can of northern beans. Or, you could skip the beef altogether and just use beans instead.
Next up on our list is a creamy, corny side dish that has earned itself over 1000 reviews and a 5-star rating on allrecipes.com. It’s easy to make, easy on the braces, and easy for even the pickiest of kiddos to love!
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a skillet over medium heat, combine the corn, cream, salt, sugar, pepper and butter.
2. Whisk together the milk and flour, and stir into the corn mixture.
3. Cook stirring over medium heat until the mixture is thickened and corn is cooked through.
4. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted. Serve hot.
* If your family likes a little spice, you can add chilies, jalapenos or curry powder to taste.
* Add cornstarch for a thicker sauce, or make a day ahead and will be thicker when reheated.
* To cut back on fat, use 1% milk instead of whole and half and half instead of heavy cream, but scale back some if doing so to avoid a runny sauce.
Even in a recipe post emphasizing vegetables, we just couldn’t leave out dessert. So, here it is, a zucchini brownie recipe that’s wildly popular and pretty healthy, too. And, as long as the kids don’t actually see you put the zucchini in the mix, they’ll never be the wiser!
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup / 200 g sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup / 60 ml applesauce
1 cup / 150 g whole wheat flour
1/2 cup / 45 g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups (about 300 – 320 g) grated zucchini
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
2. In a bowl combine the eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, salt and the applesauce.
3. Sieve the flour and the cocoa powder into another bowl.
4. Add the baking soda and mix well.
5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and combine until the dry ingredients are mixed in well.
6. Add the grated zucchini and the chocolate chips. Mix once more.
7. Pour the brownie batter into a greased 8 x 8” / 20 x 20 cm baking tin or something with similar dimensions.
8. Bake at 350°F / 175°C for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out somewhat clean.
9. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
* Avoid over-mixing your batter to prevent the brownies from coming out more cake-like.
We hope you and your family—braces wearers and non-braces wearers alike (and veggie lovers and veggie haters alike, for that matter)—enjoy the recipes we’ve shared here today. For even more braces friendly recipes, check out our blog.